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Statistics Canada
Research Data Centre
at McMaster

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The Research Data Centre at McMaster is a member of the Canadian Research Data Centre Network (CRDCN) that provides researchers with access to Statistics Canada’s microdata 'masterfiles'.  The RDC is a secure facility/computer lab on campus. To use the centre researchers with approved projects must become "deemed employees" of Statistics Canada. The master files of a large number of Statistics Canada’s population, social, and health surveys, as well as the Census and administrative databases, are housed in the RDC.

Access is free of charge to all faculty, students and staff affiliated with McMaster. All work must be conducted in the RDC and only vetted output is released. To protect the confidentiality of survey respondents, data in any form cannot be released or made accessible outside of the centre.

Core data files include the Canadian Community Healthy Survey (CCHS), the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (NLSCY), the National Population Health Survey (NPHS), the Census (1991 to 2011), the 2011 National Household Survey and more.  New data sets are regularly released including the Canadian Cancer Registry (CCR) and the Vital Statistics Database (VSD).  For a complete list of data sets accessible through the RDC see the link below.

For further information on the McMaster RDC, including how to apply, please explore the pages below.  For any questions, please contact an Analyst.

Academic Director: Byron Spencer (spencer@mcmaster.ca)
Analysts: Peter Kitchen (rdc@mcmaster.ca) 905-525-9140 ext. 27968
Mustafa Ornek (rdc2@mcmaster.ca) 905-525-9140 ext. 27967
Extended Hours: Anna Kata (rdc3@mcmaster.ca) 905-525-9140 ext. 27968

Location:   Regular Hours:
Mills Memorial Library, Rm 217   Mon-Fri, 9:30am-5:30pm
McMaster University   Extended Hours:
1280 Main Street West,   Tues, Thurs 5:30-8:30pm
Hamilton ON, L8S 4L6   * RDC hours are determined by Mills Library being open;
    library hours are here.
(Please note changes during exam periods, holidays, and summer!

How does a master file differ from a public use microdata file?

The master files in the RDC differ in several ways from the ‘public’ files which are more widely available to the McMaster research community through the Data Liberation Initiative (DLI). For instance, compared to a Public Use Microdata File (PUMF) available through Data & Statistics, a master file will often contain the full sample of respondents (not a sub-set), additional categories in variables such as income, education and ethnicity, lower levels of geography (such as the census tract or dissemination area), discrete values for certain variables (such as age or the exact body weight of a respondent) or other concepts not available in the PUMF. In addition, the master files contain derived variables and bootstrap weights used to calculate variance. RDC access is useful for analytical work when a PUMF may not exist, may not provide access to sensitive variables needed for analysis, or when longitudinal data linkage is required.

  • RDC Data Files:
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Last updated: March 16, 2017